The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has forecast further woes for the chip industry in 1998, but claimed that the market will show signs of growth in the second half of this year.
The association issued a warning suggesting that year end global sales are likely to drop by 1.8 per cent to $134.6 billion, largely as a result of continuing problems in the Asian region.
But it is upbeat for the second half of this year, and said that growth rates will exceed 17 per cent in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
According to George Scalise, the SIA's president, that growth will come mainly from increased Internet usage. "But the financial turbulence in Asia, and other market changes, have crimped the expected expansion of global chip markets in early 1998," he said.
The statistics come from an analysis of sales from 73 chip companies. The SIA said that chip sales will grow to $157.7 billion in 1999, to $187 billion in 2000 and to $222.3 billion in the year 2001. Those growth rates are higher than in the past few years, Scalise said.
He claimed that Internet usage is now doubling every 100 days. "With Internet commerce about to explode, we can already see the beginnings of the next growth cycle for semiconductors and consumer electronics," he said. That cycle will be driven by better CPUs, digital signal processors for low cost devices such as Webphones, systems-on-a-chip and comms and networking devices.
Digital cameras and DVD video storage drives would also play their part in the overall growth of the market, Scalise said.
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